Background: In this study, we used data from Australia's Northern Territory to assess differences in self-reported smoking prevalence between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations. We also used urinary cotinine data to assess the validity of using self-reported smoking data in these populations. Methods. The Aboriginal Birth Cohort (ABC) is a prospective study of 686 Aboriginal babies born in Darwin 1987-90. The Top End Cohort (TEC) is a study of non-Indigenous adolescents, all born in Darwin 1987-91. In both studies, participants aged between 16 and 21 years, were asked whether they smoked. Urinary cotinine measurements were made from samples taken at the same visits. Results: Self-reported smoking prevalence was 68% in the ABC and 14% in the TEC. Among the self-reported non-smokers, the median cotinine levels were higher in the ABC (33 ng/ml) than in the TEC (5 ng/ml), with greater percentages of reported non-smokers in the under 50 ng/ml group in the TEC than in the ABC. Conclusions: Prevalence of smoking was much higher in the ABC than in the TEC. The higher cotinine levels in ABC non-smokers may reflect an underestimated prevalence, but is also likely to reflect higher levels of passive smoking. A broader approach encompassing social, cultural and language factors with increased attention to smoking socialisation factors is required.
Bibliographical note© 2014 Pearce et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated
- Aboriginal Australians
- Cigarette smoking
- Passive smoking